International Lecture Series 2015




The Nichols Foundation - Mr. and Mrs. Peter C. Coxhead

Patron Sponsors: Susan L. Bouma, Barbara S. Longfellow, Dr. and Mrs. David J. McKenna, and the Carolyn and William Stutt Endowment for the International Lecture Series
Additional Support: Mrs. Ernest Hazel; Kenneth W. Cunningham, Jr. Endowment Fund; Virginia H. Van Wormer Lecture Fund

For the first time, we are pleased to offer special simulcast seating of the International Lecture Series in our Leonhardt Auditorium.  Each lecture will be simulcast live from the Holmes Great Hall, projected in HD on the big screen with enhanced assisted listening available.

Members $30 (Non-Members $45) for each lecture - ALL LECTURES ARE SOLD OUT!



Rick Beyer
Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker
February 2, 2015, 4:30pm

The Ghost Army: The Untold Story


War, deception and art come together in the astonishing true story of The Ghost Army. This top-secret group of GI’s used inflatable tanks, sound effects, and carefully crafted illusions to deceive Hitler’s legions during World War II. Author and documentary filmmaker Rick Beyer has spent the last decade researching the unit and interviewing its survivors. He presents this quirky and sometimes humorous story with clips from his award-winning PBS documentary on the unit, images culled from collections around the world, and a few surprising illusions of his own. Many of the soldiers were artists, including future fashion designer Bill Blass and painter Ellsworth Kelly, and Beyer weaves their wartime art into this incredible tale of creativity being used to save lives.

Rick Beyer is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a bestselling author, and a long-time history enthusiast. His credits include Expedition Apocalypse for National Geographic Channel; The Wright Challenge, Secrets of Jamestown, Revolution in Boston and The Patent Files for The History Channel; and The Emancipation Proclamation for the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit “Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life.” He is also the author of the popular Greatest Stories Never Told series of history books.


Stuart Isacoff
Critically-Acclaimed Author, Pianist and Lecturer

Ed Shanaphy
Music Executive, Publisher and Pianist
March 2, 2015, 4:30pm

Legendary Pianists, Composers, and "The Great American Songbook" — The Inside Story

What do Sammy Cahn, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Jerome Kern, and Maurice Ravel have in common? They all wrote popular songs, and had fascinating stories about them. This "lecture-performance" journey will also reveal connections between the worlds of popular music, jazz, and the classics. The inside stories come to life with featured piano and vocal renditions, video clips, vintage photos, and examples of surprising musical "partnerships" between Rachmaninoff and Frank Sinatra, Ravel and jazz pianist Bill Evans, Scriabin and songwriter Harold “Over The Rainbow” Arlen, and much more!

Stuart Isacoff is active across North America and Europe as a writer, pianist, composer and lecturer. He is the author of A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians—From Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between, and of the highly acclaimed Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilization. He is a winner of the prestigious ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in writing about music.

Ed Shanaphy founded and published Sheet Music Magazine, Piano Today Magazine, Virtuoso Magazine, and The Steinway & Sons Library of Piano Music. He launched the Good Music record label both here and in Britain, and served as Director of Marketing for the CBS Columbia House music businesses. A conductor and arranger, Ed was also a pianist for the Glenn Miller and Claude Thornhill Orchestras, and singers Bob Eberly and The Four Aces, among others.



Ross King
International Bestselling Author
March 9, 2015, 4:30pm



The Accidental Masterpiece: Leonardo and the Painting of The Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper is one of the most famous works of art in history. Yet the story of how Leonardo received the commission for the work, and how he proceeded to paint it, is much less well known. This lecture will tell the behind-the-scenes, up-on-the-scaffold story behind the creation of Leonardo's great masterpiece.

Ross King is the bestselling author of six books on Italian, French, and Canadian art and history. Translated into more than a dozen languages, his books have been nominated for a National Book Critics' Circle Award, the Charles Taylor Prize, and the National Award for Arts Writing. He was awarded the BookSense Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the United States (for Brunelleschi's Dome), and in Canada he has twice won the Governor General's Award (for The Judgment of Paris and Leonardo and The Last Supper).


The Right Honorable Countess of Carnarvon
Eighth Countess of Carnarvon and Author
March 23, 2015


Lady Carnarvon, Highclere Castle, and the Real Downton Abbey

The Real Downton Abbey comes to Vero Beach with Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the eighth and current countess of Highclere Castle, the real-life setting for the award-winning BBC drama. Inspired to share the true stories of her famous ancestors, she draws on a rich store of materials from the castle archives, including diaries, letters, and photographs to bring history to life. She has written three books to date on the fascinating lives from the “Real Downton Abbey.”

Fiona, 8th Countess of Carnarvon is no ordinary peer. Born Fiona Aitken, she has already had a colorful career encompassing a number of positions and professions. She is married to George Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon. A former auditor at Coopers & Lybrand, Fiona is perfectly suited to running affairs at Highclere Castle, where she and her husband reside. Fiona has also run her own fashion label, Azur, which operated in the States from 1995 to 2004. Fiona's guardianship of the estate extends to its grounds and gardens, events and the exhibition of original artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb discovered by the 5th Count of Carnarvon and Howard Carter in 1922. Images: © Highclere Castle 2014


If you prefer to order by phone, please call (772) 231-0707, ext. 136 to reserve your space today.


VBMA Adult Public Programs Refund Policy
All Sales Are Final; please review your reservations carefully before submitting. We are unable to offer refunds or exchanges beginning sixty (60) days before a scheduled program. However, the value of cancelled reservations may qualify as a tax-deductible donation; please notify the Museum at your earliest opportunity before the program date. Occasionally, programs are cancelled or postponed due to circumstances beyond the Museum’s control. When this occurs, you may elect to have your reservation honored for the rescheduled date or you may receive a refund if applicable. In some cases, the performance contract may set refund limitations. All refunds or exchanges are subject to a $10 non-refundable convenience fee.





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